Improving Broadband Connection
This page will help you get the best performance and stability with your Broadband Internet. It contains information concerning ADSL and Fibre Optic Broadband and also improving Wireless (Wi-Fi).
Your ADSL Broadband performance really depends on the distance between your home and the local telephone exchange. The Internet data is transmitted over copper wires which degrades over distance. However, there are a few things that you can do to try and improve the speed and stability of your Broadband connection.
To get the best performance out of your ADSL Broadband Modem Router you should connect it directly to the master socket, which is the main phone socket at your house, via a microfilter. All the phones in your house should also be used with microfilters. A microfilter is a device that allows broadband to work at the same time as your telephone service, and without microfilters you may get problems with your ADSL Broadband or experience noise on your telephone line.
A Broadband Accelerator, also called an Iplate, can also be fitted to the master socket which may improve the speed and stability of your connection. They are simple to fit and work by disconnecting the 'bell wire' which can cause digital interference on an ADSL line. The 'bell wire' is now obsolete and was used for old-fashioned analogue telephones.
You should be aware that during peak times (7pm to 10pm) your Internet connection may slow down due to the number of people using it. This is called 'contention' and your ISP (Internet Service Provider) should give details about this. You should also realise that if your Broadband is being used by several people at the same time in your home then you will all share the same bandwidth which may slow down the Internet on your computer. Your ISP may also use a 'Fair Usage Policy' where heavy users of the Internet are throttled back to make it fair for everyone else.
Using a different or more up-to-date ADSL Broadband Modem Router with the latest technologies may improve your Broadband connection.
Your computer may also be causing the Internet to appear slow. This may be because it is running a lot of programs in the background, it may have a lot of startup programs running, or it might be adding software updates automatically. There could also be a lot of malware on your computer which is hogging the resources of the computer. It is advisable to use the latest browser and clear the browsers cache periodically, as well as running anti-virus and anti-spyware software to clear your computer of malware.
If you are having problems with your Internet connection then you should check to see if there is a fault in your area and you can find a Service Status page on the Internet giving you this information.
You could also try changing your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to see if they can provide a better Internet service.
DLM (Dynamic Line Management):
Many telephone exchanges use a DLM which is an automated system that logs information about your telephone lines performance at the local telephone exchange. Its purpose is to detect if there are frequent disconnections of your ADSL or Fibre-optic Internet which it sees as a problem and so reduces your Internet speed to give you a more stable connection.
This is why an ISP will tell you to leave your Broadband Modem Router connected for the first 10 days after your Internet connection has been initially installed. The DLM will determine what Internet speed you line can handle during the 10 day period.
If you frequently turn your Broadband Modem Router off and on then this could be interpreted by the DLM as a problem on your line and it may reduce your Internet speed even though there is nothing wrong with your line. Therefore it is recommended that you do not keep switching the Broadband Modem Router off and on in a short period of time and it is recommended to keep the Broadband Modem Router on permanently. If the DLM does slow down your Internet connection then leaving it on may allow the DLM to increase your Internet speed again.
A Wireless (Wi-Fi) connection is generally slower and less stable then a wired connection from your computer to the Wireless Broadband Modem Router. However, there are a few things that you can try to improve the Wireless signal.
The Wireless Broadband Modem Router should be placed away from any electrical devices that could cause interference such as TVs, Computer Monitors, Speakers, Baby Monitors, Power Leads, and Cordless Phones etc.
Your Wi-Fi should be encrypted so that only authorised people can access your Internet connection. If anyone can gain access to your Internet connection then they will be using your bandwidth, and slowing down your Internet connection. You should also use encryption for security purposes.
If your Wireless Broadband Modem Router allows you to remove the antenna then replace it with a better one. A more up-to-date Wireless Broadband Modem Router with the latest wireless technologies (N, or AC) may improve your Wireless connection.
Changing the Wireless Channel on your Wireless Broadband Modem Router may improve things. More information on channels can be found here
You can add a 'Wireless Booster' which will amplify the Wi-Fi signal or add a 'Wireless Repeater' that can be placed in another part of the home which will repeat the Wi-Fi signal to extend its coverage.
Checking Internet speed and Wi-Fi signal:
Your ISP may provide a Internet speed check tool or you can use 'www.speedtest.net'
to determine your Internet speed.
A useful utility for seeing the Wireless signals in your local area and the channels they are using is called www.inssider.com